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ohnewfree

Large Black bird with long Beak?

9 posts in this topic

 Help! I spotted a bird today and cannot figure out what type it is!

In Mid-Michigan.

Date of Sighting 12-17-09

The bird looked similar to a crow in that its head and body looked completely black. It was larger than a crow and had a long, pale orange beak, approx. 2 to 3 inches long. Its beak looked quite rounded at the tip. To me it looked like a Rook, but as these types of birds are not found in North America, I don't know what it could have been!

 

 

Thanks. :)

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I actually have no idea. Best I can think is a mutant Starling. ;)  Is there any recordings of crows with yellow beaks, I wonder.

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I can think of two possibilites - a Crow or Raven that either had a weirdly colored bill or had something on it, or a Double-crested Cormorant.  It is quite late for a DC Cormorant to still be in central Michigan, but it's not totally impossible.  We retain a few here on the southern shores of Lake Michigan during most winters.

Was this around water? 

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Great call RJP!  I wish I thought of that!  That was so outside the box thinking yet it should have been obvious at the same time.

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Thanks, neef.  I must admit I had a little help.  After looking up the range of Ravens, I was sort of idling flipping through the field guide as I thought about this, and happened to see DC Cormorant, which turned on the light bulb.

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Randy,

Which Field Guide are you using? (And what is your avatar, a Boreal Owl? I've never seen one, and it is fascinating.)

Julie

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Julie H:
Which Field Guide are you using? (And what is your avatar, a Boreal Owl? I've never seen one, and it is fascinating.)

I primarily use Sibley's.  I think having a couple of field guides is good, as the different depictions can sometimes ring a bell, so I also have the National Geograhic guide.  (Then, of course, the specialty guides on hawks, sparrows, etc. - but we'll leave those alone for now).

Yep, the avatar is a Boreal Owl - but as far as I know it's not plastic!

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